Michigan basketball has hired a proud member of its past to lead its future.
Juwan Howard, a former Wolverines player, has reached an agreement to become Michigan’s coach. Michigan made the hire official on Wednesday evening.
“I am very excited about the opportunity to lead the University of Michigan’s storied basketball program,” said Howard. “I have been very fortunate to be part of a great championship organization in the Miami Heat for the last nine years — three as a player and six as a coach. It was always going to take something incredibly special to for me to leave Miami; however, I know in my heart this is the right place and the right time.
“As a ‘Michigan Man’ I know the place our program has in college basketball and I embrace the chance to build onto that history and lead us to championships both in the Big Ten and national level. We will continue to develop young men on the court, in the classroom and in the community that our fan base will continue to be proud of.”
Per the school, Howard signed a five-year deal that starts at $2 million annually and has a base salary of $400,000.
Howard has been an assistant coach with the Miami Heat on Erik Spoelstra’s staff since 2013, but his ties to Michigan run deep. He was a member of the lauded 1991 recruiting class known now as the Fab Five at Michigan — a talent pool of Jalen Rose, Chris Webber, Jimmy King, Ray Jackson and Howard, which is considered one of the most talented recruiting classes ever — and later went on to become an All-American. Howard was a key cog for UM and its magical runs that ended in the NCAA Tournament national championship game in 1992 and 1993.
Howard fended off Cooley, a proven Division I head coach, as well as Beilein assistant Luke Yaklich, who is widely seen in the industry as a brilliant basketball mind and future head coach. CBS Sports’ Matt Norlander reported Wednesday that if/when Howard was hired, as many expected, Yaklich could be headed to Austin, Texas to join Shaka Smart’s staff at Texas.
“We have found someone with high integrity, great character and a coach who has unbelievable knowledge of the game of basketball,” said Michigan athletic direction Warde Manuel. “Juwan has proven himself to be a tremendous leader, a wonderful communicator and a developer of talent. We couldn’t have asked for a better role model for the young men in our program. We are excited to welcome back a member of the family to Ann Arbor.”
Howard played in the NBA from 1994-2013 after being selected with the No. 5 pick of the 1994 NBA Draft and ended his playing days with the Miami Heat, where he’s served as an assistant since transitioning into the coaching ranks. He succeeds a legend in Beilein, who left for the Cleveland Cavaliers after 12 seasons at Michigan